Instructor giving me low acuity patients

  1. 0
    My instructor has always given me positive feedback in clinicals and hasn't communicated any problems except a few things with my care plans. Howeever she has been giving me low acuity patients. For example while my peers have gotten more complex surgical patients this round I had a medical patient that didn't really even have a definitive diagnosis & was d/c'd at end of the shift. Had no IV's, no cath, nothing. However she also left me pretty much to my own devices the entire time -- I gave oral meds myself, did my assessments, cares, and activity. Patient was extremely confused though and high falls risk. But overall I didn't really do much of anything different then being a TMA. She was busy with other students the entire time. Is this a good sign that she's leaving me alone? Why am I always getting low acuity patients?
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  4. 7 Comments so far...

  5. 1
    I usually get left alone by my instructors too. She might stop to ask me a question, but really she's usually busy with other students. So, I wouldn't really worry about it. It seems if instructors don't think you are doing a good job, they hover. You are working under their license after all.

    I would go and talk to your instructor about wanting more acute patients. Maybe your instructor doesn't realize that your patients have been so "easy". My instructors usually try to change it up so that we all have a multitude of experiences.
    Moogie likes this.
  6. 3
    Sometimes there aren't enough of the more complex patients to go around.

    And sometimes, if everyone has a complex patient, there isn't enough instructor to go around.

    And sometimes, when an instructor gives a student a low acuity patient--for whatever reason--it's a way of assessing their ability to deal with having time on their hands. Do they offer to help their classmates? Do they volunteer to observe or do procedures with other nurses? Do they offer to clean an area or learn something from one of the unit books?

    Rather than wonder, you could just ask.
    That Guy, VivaLasViejas, and Moogie like this.
  7. 0
    In our school, if you're given a pt. just to "babysit", the instructor has trust issues with her, and those will be revealed in the final evaluation. I, for one, don't care if I'm given an "easy" patient, so long as I pass clinical.
  8. 0
    In our program, if the teacher leaves you alone in clinical it's because they can trust you. Though I can't really comment on the low acuity assignments.
  9. 0
    Quote from rn/writer
    Sometimes there aren't enough of the more complex patients to go around.

    And sometimes, if everyone has a complex patient, there isn't enough instructor to go around.
    This is what happens at my clinicals. Another aspect is who's on shift that day. If there are competent, student friendly nurses on the floor that my instructor can trust, more of us get complex patients. If not, fewer of us do.

    I make a "wish list" at the beginning of every term. I keep my eyes and ears open for those opportunities. If it's getting to mid-term and there are a few things on my list that I still haven't done, I make sure I ask. It can't hurt to ask! Our teachers try their best to get us a lot of experiences, but the truth is they are managing too many students to keep everybody's priorities on their mind. I just give reminders.

    I wouldn't worry too much about it. Just let her know you would like to be challenged next time!
  10. 0
    I actually let her know that I wanted to be challenged at the beginning of the semester. It might have to do with my interests that I voiced to her -- I am good with patients with cognitive deficits. I also got a super complex patient our first rotation. Next two rotations had really low acuity patients. So we'll see how it goes next week. I just hope I get to DO something. Haven't even inserted a foley yet.
    Last edit by cogath on Mar 3, '11
  11. 0
    Quote from cogath
    I actually let her know that I wanted to be challenged at the beginning of the semester. It might have to do with my interests that I voiced to her -- I am good with patients with cognitive deficits. I also got a super complex patient our first rotation. Next two rotations had really low acuity patients. So we'll see how it goes next week. I just hope I get to DO something. Haven't even inserted a foley yet.
    I only had the opportunity to insert one foley my entire nursing school career, and that's because I sharked it from a nurse who was about to put one in a patient that wasn't even mine! There will be things that you just don't get to in all of your nursing school clinicals. Don't worry about it, you'll have more opportunity than you want once you've graduated!


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